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  • Should We Fall to Ruin
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Should We Fall to Ruin

Harrison Christian

This is the untold story of a remote garrison of Allied soldiers on New Guinea during WWII who stood up to the Japanese invasion despite insurmountable odds.

When the Japanese invade in 1942, the Australian men and women stationed at the New Guinea port of Rabaul flee into the jungle. Written off by their government as ‘hostages to fortune’, the little-known garrison on Australia’s tropic frontier has been left with no modern equipment, no lifeline to the outside, and no means of escape. Most are captured and killed in the sinking of the prison ship Montevideo Maru, which remains Australia’s worst sea disaster. But the surviving soldiers and nurses carry on, to fight the Japanese on other fronts, or to witness the collapse of the Japanese Empire from the inside. Having borne the brunt of defeat, their letters and diaries also record the turning point of the war and the march to victory.

Rich in detail drawn from first person accounts, Should We Fall To Ruin illuminates this untold period in military history. It is a compelling tale of bravery and resilience in the face of a seemingly unstoppable enemy.

About the Author

Harrison Christian is a New Zealand journalist and writer. His first book, Men Without Country, was a comprehensive account of the mutiny on the Bounty. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and their greyhound.


an important addition to the Australian wartime canon’ – The Saturday Paper




Pub Date
August 2022




History. Exploration. Colonisation.